Monday, February 18, 2008

Movie Review - Jodha Akbar

Are you a Tamilian, who did not take the time off to learn Urdu properly ? Are you a Tamilian.. whose last Hindi movie had people in blonde wigs and bell bottoms fighting each other, and the movie ended with the police rushing in in that smoke grey jeep ? Chances are that you might not like Jodha Akbar.

For the others, I feel this is a very good Hindi movie, replete with a hero, who has just seen Pirivom Sandhippom, Thangachi sentiment, Thambi Sentiment, Amma Sentiment, Periamma sentiment, a few one on one fights and the obligatory sex song. What seems even more obligatory is Amitabh's voice at the begining and the end of the movie.

And for Hritik Roshan... or Rithik Saar as we thamizh brethen like to call him... not enough words of praise. The fight sequence with the elephant alone is worth the DVD buy. Ofcourse the elephant foot and the trunk are prosthetics, but the long shots of the fight was worth the money. I have not seen anything like that so far in any kind of cinema.

Initially, the underlying tensions and politics in a harem run by the periamma of 'Jalal' (Akbar), is what kept me interested in the movie The biggest disappointment in the movie, was that those tensions and character generation, just whithers away like any common Indian movie in the second half. What I mean is that even though complicated characters are developed, the way each problem is addressed and resolved has been seen in any one of 3000 other movies. For example, the 'soozhchi' of the periamma, and the way it is unravelled is just too hackeneyed. None of the other sequences barring the elephant fight seem to have anything 'new' in it.

The tension between Jodha and Akbar, the purported highlight of the movie, too seems trivial. I feel he chases her only because she does not offer sex. If you are going to dismiss this as a 'Freudian oversimplification'... just get the hell out of my blog. But frankly, imagine this... There is this young guy, who wants only one thing... to rule 'Hindoostan'. He marries a girl... and wonder of wonders she refuses to put out for him. What is he going to do ? Run after the girl trying to 'earn the love' ? Or does he just go ahead and try capturing more territories from Rana Pratap and Sher Shah Suri? What was he doing anyway trying to please her... reducing travel tax on "Theerth yatr"?

Frankly, AG's Akbar seems to be far too sensitive and understanding to be an uneducated emperor who fought more wars than both his illustrious ancestors combined. All those dialogues about 'secular society', and a unified hindustan spoken by Akbar just increases the feeling of incredulity. Finally, if you encounter any Rajput who thinks that the movie is slander on their community, shoot them down. Rajputs are presented in better light than the Muslims in the movie.

And this movie is far too long... more than 3 hours. Infact, I spent quite a lot of time playing games on my cell phone.. especially when the Periamma and the step brother of Akbar conspire and conspire to conspire. THis movie is a definte watch, if not for the action, atleast for the music which, as usual is exemplary. But the over reaction by Akbar at the end of 'Khwaja'... is definitely not warranted though.


Sarang said...

Agree woth you completely. This movie is a pain to watch. Even though, I slept through 2 whole hours of it. Characters are OVER-simplified and Akbar is too good and mellow to be true. Just that Hrithik gives a decent performance.

Deepak Mohan said...

And why glorify Mughals? Why cant we have a movie on George VI, the emperor of India. These Mughals were as much invaders as were the British.
AG ku vera velai illai

Nirmal Simon said...

I personally love the Khwaja number. Found its lyrics on and think the song is very well written. A R Rehman has done full justice to Jodhaa Akbar’s songs